Hi fellow CM’s,
Many of you may have brought cars and some of you may be wondering if you should purchase a SunPass and I hope this will aid in your decision even though the answer is a big fat MAYBE. If you drove to FL you may have noticed we are covered in toll roads down here–and sometimes a road you were on last week turns into a toll. It is quite annoying and can get a bit pricey but it does help get away from some of the tourists who are not as adept to listening to their GPS as they think (I swear my abilities to follow a GPS got 98% better when I moved to FL! and I didn’t think they were that bad to begin with). So without further ado:
- Tourists- toll roads often do not have as many tourists on them (or people in general). And having less tourists not only means less people, it also means less people who have NO idea where they are going. Florida drivers are already scary enough without tourists who missed their turn and think instead of turning in at the next light and turning around is not an option… I swear I have seen more people turn from the wrong lane than I ever thought possible (someone actually turned right from the left hand turn lane… ACROSS another left lane AND a straight lane… like COME ON WHY?).
- Beaches and beyond- I know that some programs are quite short, all my Thai friends that only were with us 3 months :(, but if you’re here long enough there’s a good chance you will want to go to one of FL’s gorgeous beaches. But if you’re a true beach bum and plan to go several times SunPass will probably save you a lot of time and money. SunPass gives you discounts on the tolls and you can check the current rates here. So if you plan to go to leave the Disney bubble, it’s probably a good idea.
- Coins- A guest recently brought me an envelope I had never seen before. It was to send in the tolls money since they did not have a SunPass or coins when they went though the booths. The toll booths are designed to be fast, you literally THROW your money into a funnel and hope for the best, bills don’t really work with that plan. As we, the younger generation, have less and less physical money it is kind of a pain to have to keep a lot of coins for tolls.
- Parking Garages- many places all over FL (especially beaches, MCO, and downtown Orlando) have limited parking, but a parking garage is cheaper with a SunPass. I have enjoyed the convenience of using the garage at the airport when I fly or am taking family.
- Convenience- the SunPass and toll roads in general are just convenience. You’re paying for the less people, better maintained roads, and faster routes.
- Paying – in general paying tolls is obnoxious and adds up quickly. No one wants to pay for tolls!
- Local- If you are going to stick to the Disney bubble (or only go as far as Universal) you will be fine and the SunPass does NOT matter to you. I4 sucks no matter what you do but you can use it to get to Universal, the mall, and the gulf coast.
- Product Knowledge- when you’re working in hospitality, we are all expected to know all about everything. By using the toll roads exclusively you are restricting your product knowledge and you’re not learning the “back roads” and you’re not seeing the little things to tell people to see outside of Disney.
So like I said… it is a resounding MAYBE. But I hope you can make a decision best for you with this knowledge.
If you want to buy a SunPass, you can purchase them at the FL welcome centers on the toll roads (or the main welcome center with the orange juice!). You can also purchase it online and have it sent to your home. And FYI I did purchase my SunPass at the welcome center before I even got to the DCP.